WORLD CUP 2022 – Senegal – Qatar – The vertigo syndrome: why Mendy has been collapsing for 4 months

After losing Sadio Mané, his talisman, Senegal can no longer even cling to Edouard Mendy. Against the Netherlands (2-0), the goalkeeper got a hole in the end of the game which gave the victory to the Batavians. Two big obvious and indisputable errors which intervene in an already very difficult sequence for him. In the space of four months, the former best goalkeeper in Europe (2021) missed his start to the season with Chelsea, lost his starting spot and knocked down his selection when he entered the World Cup.

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That’s a lot even if this sequence is not just an unfortunate combination of circumstances. Christophe Lollichon knows it like the back of his hand. Responsible for the performance of Chelsea goalkeepers, it was he who convinced Chelsea to look into the profile of the former Rennais.

The failed exit of Edouard Mendy during the match between Senegal and the Netherlands, November 21, 2022 at the World Cup

Credit: Getty Images

Staying on top is harder than reaching it

Lollichon has his explanation for Mendy’s spectacular air hole: “He played injured and even overplayed in club which did not help him physicallyhe explains. And then when you know his rise in three years, there is a moment when everything changes. You go from goalkeeper without a club to the best goalkeeper in Europe, of course, unconsciously, there are new demands that influence your performance.

Edouard Mendy went through all the stages with real carelessness until he reached the top by brandishing the Champions League. Today, he must manage this status, face the demands that flow from it. His collapse, “even if he neglects nothing in training”, could be explained as follows. “Staying on top is harder than reaching it“, notes Lollichon. Today, he seems in any case seized with doubts as if everything he has accomplished since leaving Marseille ended up making him dizzy.

Edouard Mendy during the match between Senegal and the Netherlands on November 21, 2022 during the World Cup in Qatar

Credit: Getty Images

He plays lower in a more comfortable area to avoid putting himself in danger

Another possibility mentioned by Lollichon: “Perhaps the pressure increases as expectations grow higher around him. Suddenly, his influence in the game is affected, he plays lower in a more comfortable zone to avoid putting himself in danger. On the first goal against the Netherlands, if he is 50 centimeters further forward, there is no goal. It reminds me of Thibaut Courtois who was playing very high with Chelsea until taking a goal from 60 meters from Charlie Adam in 2015. Since then he has fallen back 10 meters.”

So how can he recover when morale and confidence are damaged? Senegal will not get out of their group without a great Edouard Mendy and they no longer have the right to make mistakes. “The problem is that his two errors do not occur after two months of strong performancesexplains Lollichon. And then, in the eyes of the whole world, this adds to the difficulty. He already showed that the pressure was pouring down on him when he discovered the Champions League. I don’t doubt him even though I haven’t seen him enough in four months to be completely sure of myself. Let’s say that on the Edu that I know, there is no doubt.“Problem, for four months, Mendy seems to have changed a lot.

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